/ Home & Energy

Don’t fall for double glazing sales tricks

Man fitting windows

Making massive discounts may be the oldest sales trick in the book – but it’s a tactic that’s still working for the double glazing industry. Is a straightforward quote really too much to ask for?

Given the choice, would you buy a bottle of wine for £4.99, or one that was marked as ‘reduced from £12.99 to £4.99 for today only’? The answer’s obvious to you and me, which is why salesmen use this sneaky tactic to push their products, whether it’s wine or new windows.

Given the double glazing industry’s bad reputation, we wanted to see what really happens when a salesperson visits your home. So we invited 18 reps from the biggest companies to call on our undercover researchers, and recorded their sales patter. We found that 15 of the 18 quoted a high initial price only to cut it dramatically – in many cases, by half. This would clearly leave you with the impression that you’d bagged a bargain.

But have you really bagged a bargain?

Everest offered huge discounts in four out of five of its visits to our undercover researchers – if they signed up on the spot. The biggest ‘saving’ was nearly £17,000. In one of the visits from Anglian, the salesman quoted a high initial price and then admitted, ‘Obviously, you don’t pay this…’ This conversation left us wondering whether anyone pays the first quoted price at all.

The effect of these smoke and mirrors is to leave customers bewildered about what a reasonable price is. And that’s before you take into account dodgy claims about ‘government scrappage scheme’ discounts, for schemes which don’t exist.

Both Anglian and Everest bandied around government funding for discounts, but there isn’t any. So listen out for these claims as they’re a giveaway that your rep isn’t telling the truth.

How to stay savvy

The tactics used by these big firms are the oldest tricks in the book. To stay savvy, go with a firm that’s been recommended by someone you trust, and get three quotes to compare. We recently heard from a customer who’d got the big companies in to quote for his double glazing job – they knocked thousands off their initial prices. But their final quotes were still far more than he ended up paying to a small company that was recommended to him.

We’re pleased to see that a new Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme has been set up; it’s undoubtedly needed. Still, none of the big players have joined, so it’s a bit of a damp squib. Clearly, there needs to be more accountability for these dodgy sales tactics, so we’ve sent our findings to trading standards officers and asked them to investigate these firms.

Hopefully this will force these companies to understand that we’re not haggling over a bargain buy at the local market. Double glazing is a major investment, and they need to take it seriously.

Comments
Guest
Linda Nassari says:
12 April 2018

Safwglaze uk have just caused utter devastation to my property. 7 out of 8 windows need to be replaced. I have left bad reviews and contacted managers , who have laughed. What else can i do?

Guest

Hi Linda, can you provide some more details about what Safeglaze have done and I can see what advice would help you best.

If you want to contact us privately, please email conversation.comments@which.co.uk and I’ll pick it up 🙂

Guest

Hi looking for advice. Safeglaze uk recently fitted / butchered new windows. Three windows utter write off with chips, 2 slanting, blood on them. All eight windows damaged. They want to replace them. I dont want them in my property again. Two seperate fitting teams: all windows damaged. Advice please?

Guest
Baljit Kaur says:
17 April 2018

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THIS COMPANY!!!
Ordered a door on the 14/3/18 that was supposed to fitted on the 9/14/18 (monday) but a couple of days before, the fitter calls saying he hasn’t received the door so might not be able to fit it for the date but will call us and let us know, he didnt call so we had to chase it up ourselves. Called the Safe Glaze head office who said the door is still going to be fitted on the Monday, at this point I thought it’s best to check with the fitter too just to make sure and when I called he said that they still do not have the door but said it should be coming in on Tuesday and will let me know. Later that day some surveyors for safe glaze came to check the door and we had to advise them it had not been fitted, the lack of communication between the fitter and company is quite bad as these surveyors had a wasted journey. Tuesday came and no call so I called the fitter again as needed to know if they were coming on wednesday so we could arrange for someone to be at home. There was no response for a while then finally got through and was told the delivery wasn’t there yet so they would let me know later. No call back later so I had to chase it up again and by 5.45 was advised that the door will now be fitted the next day on the wednesday. Wednesday came and the people that fitted the door seemed ok but when they were done and we were checking it we found that they had not put the numbers on the door that we had ordered and the lock was also not the one we had ordered. The door fitter then looked at the paperwork and said “oh yeah you had ordered the different lock.” He then called the office who said the earliest they can come out for the lock and numbers was Tuesday 17th April. At this point we had lost all trust in the company and were contemplating not giving the door fitter the full remaining balance as the door was not complete but he assured us (whilst he was on the phone to the office) that the numbers and lock will definitely be fitted on Tuesday 17th so we gave the full remaining money to the door fitting people. Tuesday came and no one had turned up so we called the fitter to chase it up and was told that it hadnt been booked till the week after. We were livid at constantly being messed around. The fitter said all he can do is come out on Saturday, my brother then had a go at him and told him its not good enough and he moved it forward to Thursday. So let’s see if they turn up.  Considering the door cost £1350 the process and customer service has been awful. Was considering getting the windows done too but will not be using these guys ever again. PLEASE AVOID!

Guest
Warren Hamilton says:
16 May 2018

I have just paid thousands for many various glass windows, doors and bifolds etc. However, I’ve held back £1,500 until the job is finished…. and it isn’t yet. One fanlight is broken and the company in question has been out to fix it 5 times, and failed every time. They’ve also managed to measure the aperture wrong 5 times.
Currently I have a broken pane and they are asking for the balance. Do I have a legal leg to stand on if I just tell them not to bother and I’ll do the job myself! My girlfriend doesn’t want them in the house anymore because of their incompetence. They’re becoming rude and agitated. They say they can fix it next week but after 5 attempts, should I trust them? What are my options?

Guest

I’d get a quote from another glazier to supply and fix the pane then tell your main supplier that you will withhold that amount. Whether you can claim any compensation – lost work time for example – well, you could try.
Consequential loss
If a customer suffers personally because of a problem with an item, they may be able to claim damages (money to make up for it). This is called consequential loss. One example would be if a customer had to pay out more money (perhaps to hire another item) because of a faulty item that you sold them.
A more serious example would be if they suffered injury or damage because of a faulty item.
A customer who claimed damages for consequential loss would be expected to have tried to resolve the issue with the retailer first.
Claims for consequential loss do not normally cover distress, inconvenience or disappointment.

Guest

Hi Warren, really sorry to hear you’ve been having these issues. It can be very stressful when things don’t go to plan, especially when it’s an issue in your home. We’ve got a guide on how to complain about a builder. This should be able to offer you some relevant advice: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-complain-if-youre-unhappy-with-building-work

Guest
jean billdon says:
13 July 2018

unfortunatly we agreed to have door and side panel fitted by safe glaze uk paid the hundred pound deposit and was given a date for fitting 9th july then someone phoned on the 6th to say it would now be done on the 10th ok so i clleared the porch and waited in for them no show no phone call nothing so i phoned them to ask what was going on said they phone back ..they didnt so i phoned the mobile of the salesman he gave me no of manchester office and spoke to paul who at first apologized promised to phone me back when he found out anything..nothing…phoned him next day to ask he hung up ! and no i didnt shout or anything just said hi its me again do you know whats going on ? so phoned the salesman again he did phone back and said problem with glass coming from ireland and someone would phone and let us know …no one has ! lost confidence in this company they are rude i am now of a mind to lose my 100 deposit and just ignore them any advise please

Guest

@gmartin, George – Which? said in the introduction:
We’re pleased to see that a new Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme has been set up; it’s undoubtedly needed. Still, none of the big players have joined, so it’s a bit of a damp squib. Clearly, there needs to be more accountabil